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Storage sheds, according to the book 101 Cost-Effective Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home, provide a good return on your investment, so long as they look professional and go well with the landscaping and the house. Though outdoor storage sheds predominantly appeal to men, women also need places to store their belongings (especially if they are into gardening), so the extra square footage is a plus all around to potential homebuyers. Extra storage doesn't necessarily increase the dollar value of your house, but the convenience it provides to potential homeowners will increase the marketability of your property if done right. Not only that, but you can often justify charging a higher rent to tenants due to the extra space. Another option is to build a storage shed or storage building (such as would be appropriate for storing an RV or boat) with the idea of renting it out separately. And of course, a storage shed can be convenient for your own use as well.
Which types of storage sheds work best?
If you want your storage shed to increase the value of your home, wood is statistically the most appealing material. Vinyl siding is a low-maintenance alternative that can also work well if you can find something to match her house. Avoid metal (which can rust) and plastic as it looks unprofessional and can actually detract from the aesthetic appeal of your backyard (thus making potential homebuyers less likely to find your storage shed a boon). Cedar is among the highest quality siding. It may cost more than the cheaper alternatives, but again, it can increase the appeal of your home whereas cheaper sidings can decrease it. For optimum appeal, paint wooden storage sheds to complement the house, and if possible, match the shingles to those on your house as well. This makes the storage shed feel like a planned part of your property rather than a later add-on. Also consider the style of your house when looking for a storage shed that complements it. About.com's storage shed article recommends buying a shed with a rustic design to go along with a country-style house. If you have a modern formal house, choose a shed to match.
When deciding where to place your outdoor storage shed, consider first if you need access from the street (if you're going to store a boat, you need to be able to pick it up when it's time to use it). Then consider how to blend the structure into your existing landscape. A storage shed shouldn't stick out obnoxiously. Planting around the unit can help it to blend in and even accentuate it's good points. Installing trellises against the walls, replete with creeping ivy or vines, can camouflage the shed. You can also add accessories to make your storage building look good (this is especially important when you're selling your home). Examples include: window boxes, French doors, shutters, and weathervanes. These are just a few things you can do to make your storage shed a highlight of your yard rather than an eyesore.
Storage Sheds vs. Building Codes
One thing you do need to check out before you purchase an outdoor storage shed are the building codes in your area. This is true for almost any addition you may make to your house or yard. Find out if there is a rule that dictates how far storage sheds need to be set back from the property line. The building codes may also have requirements for sidings acceptable in your neighborhood.